08 Dec Are you using near misses effectively?
This month I must thank one of my esteemed colleagues at JOMC for taking the time to fill out a near miss report and share it with the team. As usual, it was circulated by email and I had a quick read to see what happened.
Driving’s a very real danger for us here at JOMC. Between us we cover many hundreds of miles visiting clients around the country. So we have a clear policy on driving safely and give a lot of thought to journey planning. It wasn’t surprising to see that in the near miss report my colleague had planned to take a couple of breaks on his journey South. It was a familiar journey, one my colleague knew well. Feeling a little tired, they’d taken an unscheduled stop earlier on and this threw out his schedule of other planned stops so he decided to miss one and carry on.
After a short while he became more tired than he realised and found himself drifting between lanes. Thank goodness no other cars were around at the time or you’d be reading a much sadder tale. What it did for me was act as a real reminder of just how easy it is for tiredness to creep up on us. So on my next long journey I made a conscious decision to stop after two hours regardless of whether or not I felt tired, when I probably would have pushed on. All because my colleague had shared information from that near miss report.
This to me is the real essence of near miss reporting. Yes, the data gathered is great for showing up patterns and trends, but all too often this becomes the main focus, with the real information not being circulated to those who could really use it.
We all need reminders of just how easy it is to have an accident to keep us aware and making the right decisions.